There is an ancient legend that has long foretold of a summer animated blockbuster. A movie that would not only live up to it’s marketing hype, but also be enjoyable for both adults and children alike. Well grasshoppers, that movie has arrived. Bow with respect, to Kung Fu Panda.
Po, voiced by Jack Black is a larger than life Panda bear who works in his father noodles shop. While he more than enjoys the food, his secret desire is to become a Kung Fu master. With an evil Tiger Ian Mcshane on the loose, the local townsfolk are seeking a hero called, “The Dragon Warrior.” The Furious Five, a Monkey (Jackie Chan), Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Lui), and Crane (David Cross) are the top five hopeful students trained by Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman), to become said warrior. However, much to there dismay it is Po who is chosen to save the day. With time of the essence, it seems highly unlikely that this flabby panda has even a long-shot of becoming a martial arts master. But don’t loose hope, this bear has heart. Which as we come to find out in the end, is all you really need.
You have to hand it to the guys and gals at Dreamworks, this film looks absolutely amazing. The attention to detail and movements of the characters is fantastic on all levels. Having seen a lot of CG animated movies, this one will definitely be going in my top three. Also, big props to musical genius Hans Zimmer for giving us a soundtrack that doesn’t overwhelm, but more than compliments this cartoon feature.
From slapstick, to heartfelt emotion, to quick one liners, this film is a great “summer popcorn flick.” I don’t go around saying this often, but this was the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a while. Black leaves his annoying self behind and puts in a completely likable but not over the top performance. The plot is happily predictable and there’s none of that middle of the film lull that so many other current box office openers have had. With the help of the visually exciting and fast paced fight scenes, this film more than makes up for recent disappointments like Indy 4. (That’s right, I said it).
So if you want a thoroughly entertaining Martial Arts experience, but could do without the bloody knuckles and long hours of training, Kung Fu Panda has got you covered.